Dillon defeated Aynor in a thriller on Friday night to open up the Wildcats’ football season. Here is a photo gallery by Johnnie Daniels/The Dillon Herald, sponsored in part by Dillon Tractor and Implement Company.
Photos by Johnnie Daniels/The Dillon Herald
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By Lonnie Turner
The Dillon-Aynor match-up to start the 2020 abbreviated football season brought a fairly decent crowd to Dillon Memorial Stadium early Friday evening. Cars were lined on each wall on the way to ticket gates like the olden days and the stands were pretty well packed at 6:45 in anticipation for another contest like the one in 2019 in Aynor.
All a young head coach like Jason Allen had to do was keep the football away from the Wildcats and take advantage of a break here or there and it worked then and the Blue Jackets pulled the upset by beating the Cats for the first time..ever!
So why not do it again to prove to the Dillon fans that it was not a fluke, but a good job of coaching and what could be better than doing it again in front of them to open the new season!?
It took little time for the Wildcats to get on the scoreboard Friday. After winning the toss and electing to receive the opening kick-off, junior running back Nemo Squire took a hand-off from new quarterback Jack Grider on the first offensive play of the game and ran 39 yards up the middle for a touchdown with only 24 seconds gone off the clock.
Seems like both teams just wanted to play football without the “foot” being a part of the game. Neither attempted a punt. Holding Aynor for only six yards on its first possession, the Wildcats took over at the 43-yard line of the Blue Jackets and four plays later junior tailback Nigel George scored from 18 yards out. Squire was successful with a two-point conversion run to give Dillon a 14-0 lead with 7 minutes remaining in the first quarter.
The Blue Jackets scored in five plays on its second possession with senior running back Anthony Eaddy scoring on a 7-yard run., but alternate quarterback Garrison Gasque’s try for a two-point conversion failed.
Aynor attempted the first of four on-side kicks following the touchdown
but it failed to travel the 10 required yards to give the Jackets a chance to cover the ball.
The Wildcats followed with its third TD in the first quarter with Squire going the last 12 yards of a 47-yard drive that started after the failed on-side kick. Grider threw incomplete to Ahmari Huggins-Bruce on another two-point try.Anthony Eaddy scored his second touchdown on a 16-yard run, but Coach Allen opted again to try for the two-pointer after the touchdown and the score remained 20-12.
Kicker Noel McQueen’s second on-side kick was covered by the Wildcats and after Grider completed a 38-yard pass to BoBo McKinnon to the Aynor 3, the first-year Wildcat quarterback hit wide receiver Chris McCollum for touchdown and the pass combination was successful for the two points to give the Cats a 28-12 lead.
The Wildcats had the ball back in four plays after the Cats defense held Aynor to only four plays and with the running of Squire and a pass interference penalty, the Cats were inside the Aynor 10. Grider scored his first career TD for the Cats with a 1-yard QB sneak, but his pass for the two-pointer was intercepted leaving the Cats with a 34-12 lead with 3:21 left in the first half.
Aynor capped a 61-yard drive with a one-yard run by Jones, who alternated with Gasque at QB to close the gap at 34-26. The two combined for nearly 300 yards on the ground with Jones running 27 plays for 150 and Gasque, 23 carries for 138 in the game.
Then, here we go again, ball control. The Wildcats had the football for only five plays in the third quarter and three in the fourth. The Blue Jackets took over after stopping the Cats at their own 3,in the third and ran every second off the play-clock to end the quarter and continued through the fourth to grind out 97 total yards on a total of 23 carries between Jones and Gasque. The drive ended with Jones scoring on a quarterback sneak and Gasque tied the game at 34-34 with his second two-pointer.
Needless to say, Aynor tried an on-side kick, but BoBo McKinnon caught the ball at the Blue Jacket 49. On the second play that followed, Squire broke up the middle for a 25-yard touchdown with 3 minutes remaining, but the two-pointer failed and the Wildcat defense held the Aynor QB duo on four plays to preserve the 40-34 victory.
Dillon has a bye this week and will travel to Georgetown on October 16th.